Wednesday, February 23, 2011

"To Choose or Not to Choose"

I have been thinking a lot lately about how our choices affect us. A Book of Mormon scripture teaches us that all, "men are instructed sufficiently that they know good from evil." (2 Nephi 2:5) We are all born with the Light of Christ which teaches us right from wrong. Since we are all children of God "we are instructed sufficiently" thus we each are going to be accountable for the choices we make. If it were not so "God would cease to be God."(Alma 42:22)

Every parent knows the importance of accountability while raising a child. Every teacher knows the importance of establishing rules and consequences in establishing order within a classroom. All Managers establish guidelines for their employees to live by to ensure efficiency within the workplace. This principle is not new. It is the most important principle in governing anything. It is how we learn.

It is no different in heaven. God will hold us all accountable, however he lets us choose. He gives us commandments, yet he lets us act for ourselves. Agency is important in Gods plan. In the "For The Strength of Youth" pamphlet established by the church we learn about agency:

"Your Heavenly Father has given you agency, the ability to choose right from wrong and to act for yourself.... While you are here on earth, you are being proven to see if you will use your agency to show your love for God by keeping His commandments.While you are free to choose for yourself, you are not free to choose the consequences of your actions. When you make a choice, you will receive the consequences of that choice. The consequences may not be immediate, but they will always follow, for good or bad. Wrong choices delay your progression and lead to heartache and misery. Right choices lead to happiness and eternal life. That is why it is so important for you to choose what is right throughout your life."

It goes on to say:

"You are a child of God with great strength. You have the ability to choose righteousness and happiness, no matter what your circumstances."

I add my testimony that these things are true. It is so important to make good decisions. However, I also know that no body is perfect. That's why God sent His Son. I know that through our Savior Jesus Christ we can be cleansed from the mistakes we make. When we stand before God to be judged we will be guiltless before the Father. We have to follow him and keep his commandments. We must repent, be baptized by one holding the authority, and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Through this we can inherit Gods kingdom. Without it we are left to suffer the consequences for our actions.

The prophet Nephi teaches this clearly: "Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself."(2 Nephi 2:27)

It is either liberty and eternal life or captivity and death. Very simple. I think I'll chose the first one. I know that as we follow the commandments we can be happy and we can return to live with God. It is so important to exercise our agency righteously and choose to obey rather than rebel.

Obedience = Happiness
Disobedience = Unhappiness

Sin is so destructive. I cannot say it enough. We must do as Nephi says and "look to the great Mediator, and hearken unto his great commandments; and be faithful unto his words, and choose eternal life, according to the will of his Holy Spirit And not choose eternal death, according to the will of the flesh and the evil which is therein, which giveth the spirit of the devil power to captivate, to bring you down to hell, that he may reign over you in his own kingdom."(2 Nephi 2:28-29)

These things are true and I speak boldly of them because I know so. We cannot allow sin to destroy us. The righteous use of our agency will bring eternal life which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God.

1 comment:

  1. I am so grateful for the agency we have! I think it is amazing God would allow us to come here and learn from our mistakes we make. I know we can overcome them as we turn to Jesus Christ and rely on Him in our lives. Through Him we can be clean and return to live with God! Thank you for your testimony!